Category: Electro / Synthpop / Futurepop
Album: Science and Sound
Blurb: Excellent production and infectious pop hooks marred by subpar vocals, doing little to make Cesium_137’s first album in three years anything more than good and catchy.
People like pop music; whether it is mainstream pop, synthpop, electro-pop, futurepop, death pop, pop punk, etc. It is called pop for a reason – people enjoy it. Is this to say that pop music can never be anything but that? While Cesium_137 may not be actively trying to answer that question with Science and Sound, the band’s first album in three years, the duo of Isaac Glendening and Vince Guzzardo unveil 10 tracks of pure electrified futurepop so infectious that only the staunchest non-fan of the band would be able to resist dancing and singing along.
A stuttering trance synth line enters with a syncopated accompaniment before the four-on-the-floor beats kick in, and “Aftermath” begins Science and Sound with immediacy, an entrancing yet simple chorus carrying the listener through to melodic fruition. It’s all downhill from here, for the rest of the album maintains this energetic formula throughout; from the pulsating and anthemic “Time Stops for No One” to the throbbing and ethereal “Peripheral,” Glendening and Guzzardo pulls all the stops to make Science and Sound a consistent and cohesive romp of saccharine, poppy electro that is above all catchy as hell. The production is top-notch, with each synthesized layer of racing arpeggios and ambient pads forming a harmonious tapestry, with “Run” living up to its title as a lush but acerbic racer, while “Logic Bomb” evokes Haujobb with its spacey atmosphere, sharp rhythms, and offbeat lyrics. But especially notable is the use of vocoder on “The Golden Age,” adding to the rich atmosphere of the song; while not the most original trick in the book, as even Cesium_137 has used it plenty of times in the past, it is still an exceptionally well utilized effect on this track.
There is one glaring flaw with Science and Sound, and perhaps in a fair amount of Cesium_137’s music, that is difficult to ignore is the vocals. While certainly not without a keen sense of melody and tunefulness, often times they are sung quite outside the range of ability, such as on “Time Stops for No One” or “In Memory.” Everything else about the music of Cesium_137 is so tight and polished that this writer is left wondering if the lack thereof on the vocals is an attempt to retain some human element amid an otherwise synthetic product. Even so, it diminishes the songs substantially. As well, though the songs are enjoyable, there is little to distinguish them from each other or even what the band has produced up to now. Science and Sound may do little beyond its excellent production to be anything but a well done futurepop album, but then again, sometimes there is comfort in an album simply being… good.
Cesium_137 Website http://www.cesium137.com
Cesium_137 MySpace http://www.myspace.com/cesium137
Cesium_137 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Cesium137
Cesium_137 Twitter https://twitter.com/cesium_137
Cesium_137 SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/thebinary
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)